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Octarium

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Performing Arts, Singing & Choral Groups, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Octarium is Latin for “Eight as One,” and the name defines our mission: Eight Singers, One Choral Voice. Octarium is committed to fostering and promoting the development and appreciation of the art of choral music through innovative and engaging programming, seeking to inspire, enlighten and educate.

Programs: See http://octarium.org/education.html for a description of our outreach programs.

Community Stories

104 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Harv F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have played with OCTARIUM at the last High Holy days and they are a wonderful Vocal group with a great conductor.

Judith P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a trained musican and a member of B'nai Juhdah's former choir, I always enjoy, not only listtening to the Octarium choir, but also singing along with them at our High Holiday services. Our services are greatly enhanced by Octarium's participation during these services.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This cantorial group adds a sense of beauty to the dignity of the High Holiday Services and should be commended for thier efforts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Octarium sings for us at Congregation B'nai Jehudah for our High Holiday services. Their enhancement of the spiritual experince is ethereal, moving and brings deeper meaning to the occasions for me. From the first time they graced our gatherings, I felt I stepped into a fresh, open, sacred place. I marvelled at their ability to so faithfully render Hebrew even though they had not previously studied it (I assume). Thank you Octarium. You make our High Holidays more wonderful and meaningful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My pesonal high holiday experience is always enhanced by virtue of the music and its specific arrangement. This particular time in the year is devoted to reflection and I find no better way to reflect than accomopanied by music.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Really like their work at my Temple's high holiday services. Hope they can keep it up

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group has been playing the role of spiritual musical accompamists at out sysagogues High Holiday Services for 5 or 6 years now. Theyappear as professional musicians both in performance and demeanor. the sounds are angelic, harmonic, and appropriately match the tone of the litergy in each segment of the music. THe music sets the tone of the prayers and they capture it all quite well.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium voices combine to sound like an orchesstral group. You can hear the joy in their performances. They make their performances sound like special occasions.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a teenager who usually listens to popular music, I really enjoy listening to Octarium at our holiday services. The two days of services are very long, but I get wrapped up in the music and time just flies.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have heard this group sing many times. They approach the music with genuine seriousness. Their sound belies their small size. Tremendous talent, dedication, and beauty.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium has been an integral part of our High Holiday services at Congregation B'nai Jehudah in Overland Park, KS. They have helped to transport me to another plane on those very special and holy days. They help transmit the gravity of the day.

Marcia S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Octarium have sung at our High Holiday Service along with our cantor for as long as I can remember and their beautiful voices truly enhance our services.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have performed as a musician with Octarium and also heard them at one of their concerts. I am amazed and transfixed by the power and beauty of their singing. With only a few rehearsals, they perform flawlessly for the High Holy Days at my temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah. I also had the privilege of conversing with them, and they are all kind and gracious.

Sam G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's not every day that my family and I choose to sit towards the front at services. When Octarium is there - we try to sit as close as possible. Their voices are beautiful and their showmanship connects us to both the music and the spiritual nature of why we're there.

Mark C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Even with "substitute" singers Octarium is better than your average choral ensemble. Only Krista Blackwood would think that minor misses could mar the performance of Kansas City's best eight member (or almost any number of members) a capella group. The rest of us didn't notice - too enthralled by the music.
They sang everyone's favorites, and the crowd was duly pleased. Actually, since everyone got to pick their favorites for the program (Listeners' Choice), this was more or less inevitable. Nontheless, I'm sure there were many who came away with new favorites as Octarium did their usual superb job of lending intimacy, good humor and class to a wide variety of music from many genres.
The venue, St Elizabeth's in KCMO, is also one of my local favorites for vocal performances providing just the right mix of depth and resonance to everything from a three-voice chant to a triumphant chorus.
You should go and listen.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our congregation has had the great fortune to have Octarium as our holiday choir singing alongside our cantor for as many years as I can remember. Octarium's voices elevate the beauty of our holy days and help create moments of both solemness and joy. I am sure that their work in other settings is equally as beautiful as their participation in our holiday services. My hope is that they will continue to be able to share their music with our congregation, the Kansas City community and beyond for years to come.

Deborah R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When the Octaruim sing on the High Holy days, it sounds so angelic almost as if the angels themselves are singing with them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the extrodinary pleasure for eight years of being in the pews as Octarian has added their voices to enrich a worship experience. I have had the opportunity to travel fairly extensively and to see and experience others in the role that Octarian has been filling. I can without hesitation tell everyone that what Octarian provides is without exception an extrodinary experience. We would be far poorer without Octarian's participation.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium's voices, along with our Cantor's, make the evening complete! It is just that simple!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Each year, Octarium provides a rich and beautiful backdrop for our most important holidays of the year. Our synagogue is fortunate to have this very professional group located in our city. They create a full-bodied sound that helps set the tone for our entire service. Additionally, they are always a pleasure to watch. Their director exhibits true poise and grace in her leadership of this group. This is a very unique group!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our High Holy Days would be beautiful with only the voice of our Cantor but having Octarium provides a much more spiritual experience. Their voices entertwined with the Cantor's gives our holiest days of awe a splendid aura not achievable without their skills. Singing our songs demands the group learn Hebrew...a skill they did with integrity.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This musical group has added an extraordinary amount of beauty and soul to our High Holy Days services at The Temple, Congregation B'Nai Jehudah each year that they have provided music. I'm a professional Bassoonist, teacher and adjudicator in the Kansas City area and I've performed with many ensembles in all the years I've been here. None of the choral ensembles I have ever worked with or heard has the beauty and blend of this wonderful group of people. They are so tasteful and musical, and it's also hard to believe that the Hebrew language that they sing for our Services is not native to any of them! If we could have them for all Holidays and Shabbat celebrations, it would be a dream come true!
They also work hand-in-glove with our marvelous Cantor Sharon Kohn, each party making the other's voice seem so effortless.
Please consider this wonderful group for the opportunity to receive grant support, as it would truely be a shame not to support their marvelous efforts at music-making.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have heard Octarium sing for several years during our High Holiday services at our synagogue. Their professional voices add beauty to our service. They are well disciplined, always watching their director, and coming in together as well as releasing together when that is called for. They make a beautiful, moving contribution to our services, and I am always glad to see them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Octarium has been a part of our synagogue for many years. Their amazing voices are heard during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The beauty of thier voices enhances our prayers and sets the tone of our holy days.

Client Served

Rating: 4

they are very enjoyable to listen too their dedication to their work is very endearing they are refreshing encouraging and very moving :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This group is so beautiful. They obviously are very good at what they do and work very hard to sound so awesome. They sound so flawless in their harmonies and the way their voices blend is very hypnotic and yet it is also soothing. These folks deserve our support! They are so very talented!

Doug H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Octarium has performed some of my choral works in past seasons. Without exception, their treatment of the choral art was flawless. They are wonderful musicians and even better people. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them, and I look forward to future collaborations.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While I've not been able to see Octarium perform live, I am fortunate to have obtained several of their cds. The sounds and harmonies of Octarium are beautiful, many voices combining to make one lovely voice. I look forward to the day when I will have the opportunity to attend a performance!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of seeing Octarium perform many times over the years they have been a choral group. They have amazing blend and sound. You can tell that each musician is talented in their own right, but that together they are stronger and even more beautiful together as a group. You can also see a wide range of genre with them. When I hear choral, I think sophisticated and classical. But, they push the boundaries of that definition and have fun. One can tell that the group members are friends and have a great sense of humor. I only hope to hear much more from them in the future! They deserve great things.

Liana L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium has a beautiful, pure sound. I love their musicianship and dedication to their craft.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

How to express the evening listening to Octarium. Blissful!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have conducted choirs, sung in choirs and enjoyed listening to beautiful choral music for most of my professional life, and I have never heard a choir like Octarium. The have a blend a balance of an ensemble 4 times their size, and a purity that a larger choir would be incapable of matching. Simply put, Octarium is a musical gem; a rare and priceless one at that.

Personally, my favorite performances of theirs include the Manuel ALLELUIA and Lauridsen's O MAGNUM MYSTERIUM. Octarium brings out the beauty of these wonderful pieces in a powerful and moving way.

I look forward to following Octarium through the years, and benefitting from their beautiful music.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group is an amazing vocal ensemble. They work to expand and enhance music education and the public's understanding of music. I have thoroughly enjoyed their concerts in person when travel permits as well as via CD.

Donor

Rating: 5

Wonderful beyond words. It is always such a pleasure to listen to Octarium whether via CD or live concert. I was fortunate to be able to travel a long distance to attend the Listener's Choice Concert. I seem to enjoy their work more and more every time I hear them sing. The programing for this last concert was amazing considering that the pieces were chosen by the fans. Dr. Blackford did a supurb job of coordinating the selections and the singers were beyond outstanding.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Octarium always delivers! Their sound is consistent and brilliant. Creative programming enhances every concert. Don't miss!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attend as many concerts as possible and thoroughly enjoy them always. I enjoy watching them in concert as they interact with each other to produce their amazing sound. It almost makes me feel a part of the process.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Listener's Choice concert on February 19th was a pleasure to attend. The program concept was nice in it's own right and (understandably) was more-or-less a compilation of "greatest hits". I was taken by the antiphonal di Lasso work handled by two groups of four done very ably by the group. All the pieces were enhanced by the wonderful acoustic at St. Elizabeth's where several other performances have taken place. The singers and overall musical and artistic direction of Dr. Krista Lang-Blackwood make Octarium performances and recordings well worth attending and buying!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium is one of Kansas City's most valued and valuable arts organizations. Unique, intelligent, musically brilliant.

Donor

Rating: 5

Octarium is always entertaining. The singers are so talented, the music is a pleasure and the programs always have a variety of pieces to make the evening a great experience. I have never been disappointed.

Ron W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been following Octarium for several years. Attending concerts, and listening to their CD's. Every time I attend a performance I feel refreshed and enriched by the beauty of the music and the skill with which they present it. Can't get enough Octarium!

Donor

Rating: 5

I live outside the KC area, so I have not had the opportunity to hear them live, but I do own the first three recordings and love the harmonious beautiful blend of voices. It's not exactly like listening to singing to me, but more like floating music. I started listening to Octarium while expecting my first child a few years ago while looking for something relaxing, yet meaningful. I found that with Octarium. Time to get the fourth recording!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I acepted an invitation to attend this musical event mainly because i wanted to share a fun evening with friends -- but I was blown away with the music. I am not a music major and only know what I like and enjoy, and Octarium was such a pleasant surprise. The music was lively, soul-searching, spiritual, fun -- and my emotiona ran the same gamut.

I look forward to spending another evening with Octarium -- and my friends!!!

Mary Lee G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium is a group of very talented individuals. I personally know Brady! I have seen him put on the spot to lead a group thru a song to finish the oncore ALL by himself without any back ground music. My husband is a drummer for Mid Life Crisis of KC band which is my only musical background but Octarium is a completely different type of entertainment. Style, organization, dedication and outstanding performance is what you witness when listening to Octarium. The vocals are so projected that it gives you goose bumps just to hear this group perform! This group has enducated me on what acapella is!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a music educator and I am extremely impressed by the quality of choral music produced by Octarium. The blend and balance are exquisite and the group has a true sense of what they are singing about. I would recommend a recording or a concert of this lovely group to anyone...they are phenomenal!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I don't believe I've ever been to a concert that moved me more than those of the a capella group, Octarium. They are so beautiful............the music perfect........and the singers so captivating. An amazing experience that has reduced me to tears several times. Lovely. I've sung their praises to all my friends.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My favorite Octarium concert was at Drury Stone Chapel in 2010. The program was a selection of songs that were of a popular nature and singers voices became the instruments. The incredible sounds, complete with textures and tones that mimicked elements of strings, woodwind and brass were such a delight. As you looked at the crowd, they were fully engaged--smiling, tapping or singing along. It was a magical evening and as people were leaving I heard them ask when they would be back.
The most notable thing of the group if the obvious pleasure they derive from the performance itself and the natural poise and balance they achieve with their voices. Each voice has a strenth in itself as shown in some of the selections that had solo vocals within the text, but they seemed to blend together into a smooth and elegant sound.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Within the Kansas City area are many musical organizations. Only one, however, offers small-group acapella signing, octarium. Anchored by the bass-baritone Brian Winters and moving through the voices to the soaring soprano of Ashley Winters, this, group consistently provides the highest quality of vocal music. As a small group, it does not require vast financial resources; on the other hand, it shoud not be ignored merely because of its size. Having attended many of Octarium's concerts over its eight year existence, I feel that my financial contributions help keep this wonderful music alive. Their skill and enthusiasm brings so much to the audience that it would be a pity if they could not get the financial backing thay they need.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I had just moved to a new town, started a challenging new career of fundraising consulting for the performing arts during unhopeful economic times, and was trying to support a spouse in her first ministerial appointment. A friend gave me an Octarium CD, "Essentials" and Rachmaninov's Bogorditse literally slapped me in the face. The gentle firmness of pianissimo and both the depth and marriage of tone forced me to pull over my car because the sound was literally pulling the tearful depression from my eyes and the moaning stress from my throat. I believe art connects us to each other and to our Creator. Art as a vessel has saved me time and time again. Octarium was a vessel that day, and I'm continually impressed and blessed by their artful and innovative approach and dedication to producing one sound together.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium's unique blend of vocals provides a magical sensory experience that is spiritual in nature.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium is a wonderful musical group. They are very talented and inspiring. Our community is very thankful for their performances.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a music educator I am always trying to find new and innovative ways to promote classical music in the public schools. The Octarium website was recommended to me and I am very impressed with this organization!! I recently viewed the video clip Sing a Symphony and will be forwarding the link to educators in my district. Kudos to Dr. Krista Lang Blackwood and Octarium for their dedication to music education in the schools!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been to several Octarium performances over the years. This group of performers transports the audience into the realm of sheer, unadulterated pleasure. Their voices, whether in chorus or solo, are absolutely beautiful. After their performance the group always mingles with the audience. This interaction is fun to watch as they encourage and inspire many young people to become involved with music.

Kelly M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium is fantastic. What a fine arts organization! They deserve millions and millions and millions

Joshua E.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hearing Octarium perform is an experience everyone should have. A true pleasure!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing concert. Beautiful blending of voices and great acoustic at the venue. Thanks for inspiring us. You brought tears to my eyes in a couple of pieces.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work with one of the performers in Octarium. Jaime Scherrer is one of the most talented and versatile musicians I know, and I do go to many musical programs in the metro area. I have the pleasure of working with Jaime-she is our choir teacher and is deeply involved in school musicals. I am happy to write a review because I know that Jaime is invested in Octarium and I know from other staff members that their music is amazing. I do plan to patronize their performances in the future. I have had the opportunity to listen to taped versions of the performances and find what they do amazing. I would do anything I could to help Octarium reach their full potential!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen many of Octarium's concerts and appreciate the variety they offer in their programs. There is something for every member of the audience - traditional, seasonal, choral adaptation to classics and pop. The members are all very talented musicians who take their craft to heart, and deliver their performances with professionalism and enthusiasm. Their voices blend and compliment one another, and their concerts delight their audiences. The Octarium members spend countless hours rehearsing together recording, performing, arranging, touring promoting their CDs, and mentoring students.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is such a pleasure to listen to Octarium, and their passion for thier music. I have attended numerous concerts over the last 4 years and have always come away with that feeling of being inspired. I hope fundng will continue to support Octarium and other groups.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Have you ever heard angels sing? I have, and they are called Octarium. I am pleased that a group of this caliber exist in my lifetime. I have had the pleasure to be blessed by there voices on a few occasions and that is a few occasions to few. Between singing perfectly blended arias and standards, to mixing in some popular songs from past eras, I am taken on a roller coaster ride through heaven. Christmastime is when this group shines the brightest. They are the epitome of the lords own hand-picked singers to bring joy to all. I suggest that if you haven't seen them, then you stop what your doing and get a schedule of upcoming shows and then buy tickets for everyone you know. Maybe even people you don't, because no one should live without hearing them perform.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I recently attended the Octarium "Listener's Choice" concert. Fantastic!

Client Served

Rating: 4

I heard Octarium sing at a local concert for the holidays and was blown away by the quality of their music. A friend of mine is in the group, and so to be honest, I first went to be nice. I left feeling totally different. The music moved me and their grace and humor was apparent. The group is quite talented and I would recommend their concerts to anyone!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been to 7 or 8 Octarium concerts. I am not a music critic but I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Their harmony and blend of voices are excellent, but mostly I like their selection of songs. To me their concerts are more enjoyable than any other choral group, including KC Chorale, Chanticleer, King Singers or The Sixteen

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was at the Octarium "Listener's Choice" concert last night and was absolutely enthralled with the clarity, energy, and pure beauty of the performance created by the eight singers. I was swept into another dimension for the 2 hours of the concert. This was the first time that I have heard this group live, but it certainly will not be the last.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Serendipity

Just by chance I was looking through local events in KC and came across your concert. I drove over two hours to hear the concert and it was time well spent. The vocals of the group lived up to their name. The selection of music was superb and the overall atmosphere was warm and inviting. I look forward to many more concerts by this group of professionals.